I’m seeing lots of commentary across the Blogosphere on the Estrada nomination/fillibuster. Atrios has a particularly biting rant on the subject here. My two cents: I agree that both sides have used all the tricks at their disposal to halt judicial appointments. The modern starting point for it was the Bork nomination, but it’s certainly continued apace since then. It does seem to me that this has to stop at some point, though. By all accounts, Estrada is superbly qualified. He’s likely rather ideological, although it’s hard to know for sure since he doesn’t have a judicial paper trail. But, of course, the post-Bork environment encourages the appointment of those without paper trails. Given the closeness of the party structure in the Senate, now would be a good time to iron out some sort of Senate rules. Maybe agree that, for the remainder of Bush’s term, Bush would get one and the Dems would get one for every seat to open up at the District and Circuit levels and then have some sort of Senate advisory board that would be in on the “Advise” end of things rather than waiting for it to get to “Consent.” Set up the rules for the next President, whether Bush or the Democratic nominee, now and then abide by them.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.